Flock of migrating Starlings
Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images

The election is over and a lot of us — no matter who we supported — are feeling scared, sad, and disillusioned. At times like this, when life feels all too real, it’s easy to forget just how magical the world can be.

If you need an extra boost of calm and wonder today, check out this National Geographic video that captures the beautiful, mysterious flight of the starlings.

Thanks to the advent of high-quality video however, experts have been able to determine that the movement of each bird is only based on the patterns of the six to seven birds directly surrounding them. Those birds influence the birds around them, and so on and so forth, until the whole flock bends and undulates as one.

Enchanting as they look, these aerial performances are actually survival maneuvers, the entire murmuration (sigh…) moving in unison to evade predators like falcons or hawks.